Lapwings in flight

Huge formations of birds in flight are clearly fascinating to others.  A comment led me to http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/grackles-revisited/ and a further comment on that site took me to another blog and an image of flocking geese http://theirisandthelily.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/a-field-of-white/.

I regularly watch lapwings in flight.  They suddenly startle and take off in unison.  They wheel and soar on frying-pan wings almost in formation, often in chaos, sometimes forming patterns, often breaking up into ones or twos, until they all sweep in to land noisily in the shallows again.  Capturing this in paint is difficult.  I know the image below is flat and has lost the sense of movement I set out to capture.  Still – this is an online sketchbook not an art gallery!  I will attempt this again.

Its worth mentioning that the grackles photograph mentioned above is a post on the blog http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/.  I spend an enjoyable half hour with my six year old son going through this fabulous site focussing mainly on botanical photography.  Joseph said “wow” at nearly every shot.

While I’m at it, here are a few other field sketches of lapwings in conte crayon or in ink

3 responses to “Lapwings in flight

  1. I find that your watercolor does a fine job of conveying what the lapwings’ flight must be like (I phrase it that way because I’m not familiar with lapwings). The pastel colors of the foliage, the ground, and the water make the birds stand out all the more. Well done.

    (And thanks for your and your son Joseph’s encouraging comments about my blog.)

  2. Thanks. No one is ever satisfied with their own work so your comments most welcome. I have a sequence of photos taken of lapwings in flight. But what I need to do is to go back and try in life to map on paper the patterns of movement. This is going to take several goes.
    These are Northern Lapwings, as shown here http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/l/lapwing/index.aspx. The video shows why they are described as having frying pan wings. I was curious so looked further into this. The Lapwing family of plovers appears to have about 20 species distributed across Eurasia to the Pacific rim and into Australasia and South America. However, I couldn’t see any species resident in North America. Funny – I just assumed they would be endemic across the northern hemisphere as appears to b the case for many waterfowl. They are very common in the UK and northern Europe.

  3. Pingback: Drawing birds in the field | kestrelart

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